The Clermont County Fairgrounds rain garden was first installed in 2007 and was designed to capture storm water runoff from the roof of a nearby building. The garden was managed by Clermont SWCD staff over the years but was often forgotten during the busy growing season. Over time, the garden stopped functioning correctly due to overgrowth and nearby construction. This caused a buildup of sediment and water in the parking lot following heavy storms. After 10 years, the garden was in need of some TLC. Stacey Creamer, Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN) and Master Rain Gardener (MRG), volunteered to take on the garden overhaul from start to finish as part of her certification for the MRG program. Stacey completed her design for the project as part of the MRG course in Fall 2022 and worked throughout the fall and spring to dig a larger basin capable of handling more frequent and heavier rainfalls, build a berm to prevent pollutants from entering the storm drain, and created a rock waterfall to slow water down as it entered the garden to prevent erosion. In total, Stacey logged 88 hours caring for the garden and managed a team of seven volunteers to help with digging, planting, and more digging. She was able to successfully rehome four native trees and over 120 perennial plants that were pulled out of the garden. She also planted over eight new native perennial species to ensure the garden has blooms from spring through fall providing food for pollinators and four-season appeal for Fairgrounds visitors.
We cannot thank Stacey enough for all of the hard work that went into transforming this forgotten space into a beautiful natural landscape for all to enjoy. Special thanks also goes out to Kelley Williams, Mary Pierson, Wendy Grimes, Bill Bajorek, Nat Podboy, and Abbie Frazer for their help throughout the project. If you are interested in learning more about the OCVN or MRG programs or are interested in volunteering, please contact Kat Zelak, Education Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-732-7075.